Friday, June 13, 2014

Michael McKean: KNAC-FM Long Beach guest DJ set, August 1974

From the collection of Firesign Theatre fan Glen Banks come these MP3s from a guest DJ set on KNAC-FM Long Beach performed by Michael McKean, probably in August 1974. These cuts came from a rescued work tape, only some of which was broadcast. “Her Own Sandwich” is a Righteous Brothers parody about the death of Mama Cass. “Long Beach Suite” and the KNAC-FM legal ID are two short folk ballads about the refinery emission-drenched wonderfulness that is Long Beach. “MPX Cassettes” is an ad for a consumer brand of cassette tapes with a celebrity endorsement by Patti Hearst. “Grey Toupee” pays tribute to disgraced President Richard Nixon. The National Association of Progressive Radio Announcers PSA “Vote Til It Hurts” is a real PSA, featuring McKean as Tony LaMone urging listeners to vote. And the various Spots are tributes to Fred May and his wife, long-time staples of Channel 13 in Los Angeles, who together produced endless identical-sounding ads with the wife’s voice drenched in echo. “Massage-A-Rama” and the “Sid’s Wood City” ad sequence are pretty goofy, but then the Gap took the gag to its logical extreme and cooked up four incredibly offensive variants, three of which were included on their 1977 album The Bronze Age of Radio. Trust me, the only time in this planet’s history when these spots have been allowed to air was when a radio station had the actual members of the Gap handy to take all the blame if necessary. (NOTE: the Freddie Herbie spot and the last set of Fred May ads come not from Glen Banks but from my archive, and have a different, forgotten source, probably Alan Olsen and Michael Pearce. Thanks everybody!)

KNAC-FM legal ID
Her Own Kind of Sandwich
MPX Cassettes
NAPRA PSA: Vote 'Til It Hurts
Grey Toupee
Spots (A Tribute to Fred May): Massage-A-Rama
Spots (A Tribute to Fred May): Sid’s Wood City / Bill’s Hovercraft School / Broxon Formula 19 / Arnold’s Rubberama
Spots (A Tribute to Fred May): Dago Menswear / Jigaboo’s Car Wash / Kike National Bank / Mr. Spic Taco Tavern
Public Service Announcement: Freddie Herbie for the National Necrophilia Foundation (radio version)
Long Beach Suite

Aircheck audio

DISCLAIMER: To the best of my knowledge, this work is out of print and not available for purchase in any format. If you are the artist and are planning a reissue, please let me know and I’ll remove it from the blog. Also please get in touch if you’ve lost your art &/or sound masters and would like to talk with me about my restoration work.


  1. I had been looking for those Fred May parodies forever. Thanks! Swell blog you got here.

  2. As an old Firesign fan (primarily TTTDHMTP) and former indie radio DJ, I enjoy your site a lot. I can tell you that three of the four Fred May tribute spots (Car Wash, Bank, Taco) were heard occasionally on KTIM-FM in San Rafael, California, in the 1976-1977 time frame. That's where I first heard them. My roommate and I used to imitate them at parties.


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